This past Sunday our boarding community gathered for the first of what will be several “this is the last time we do this together moments” with our final House Games and community dinner of the year. These events involve the entire community, which includes boarding students and houseparents.
While this is not the last time that we will gather as this community or in our smaller individual house communities, the events of Sunday do bring about a realization that in the coming weeks this experience of boarding is ending for many. Regardless of whether that experience has been one, four or five years in the making, it is incredible, even after all my years in residential life, to see how these students grow, mature and develop over this time.
Most importantly, what I feel is great hope in the future as each year I get to witness young people from around the world learn to live, work and play together. It takes work, sacrifices, compromises, vulnerability and commitment on the part of the students to make the most of the experience.
The reward for them (and us) is that they are developing a roadmap for tackling the truly great issues of the future that will require the global community to work together to resolve.
The reward for me: shortly after our community dinner, I took my dog for a walk around the school field. With the sun beginning to set, many of the students still in their Sunday best from dinner were gathered in various groupings on the field or around School House. They were trying to capture the essence of it all with that perfect photo before the sun set, doing so with effortless smiles that can only come from a feeling of comfort and belonging.